Magnus the Traitor

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Mercenary Warcaster

Magnus has proven to be more than simply a one-man army with a grudge against the nation he once served. He has become a singular lord and master of the arts of war. He relies on no nation's backing and he carves his legend across western Immoren with blood and blade. He is ruthless in his determination to bring the exiled former king of Cygnar back to power regardless of the lives it costs.

Basic Info[edit]

DEF 14
ARM 17
HP 17
Focus 6
WJP +30
See also How to Read the statblock


  • Scattergun - 8" spray, POW 12 ranged weapon.
  • Mechanikal Arm - 0.5" reach, P+S 11 melee weapon.


  • Mercenary - In a 2+ caster game, he will work as a Cryx mercenary, Khador mercenary, or Protectorate of Menoth mercenary.
  • Warcaster - This model comes with a bunch of special rules, most notably being really awesome at everything.
  • Backstab - This model gains an additional die to hit and damage rolls when it attacks from the target's back arc.
  • Feign Death - While knocked down this model can't be targetted by shooting or spells.
  • Repair [d3 +1] (★ Action) - This model can remove d3 +1 damage points from a friendly Faction construct model in B2B.
  • Resourceful - This caster can upkeep spells on battlegroup models for free.


Arcantrik Bolt - Cost 2, 10" range, POW 12

If this spell damages a warjack, it suffers stationary for one round.

Blur - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +3 DEF against ranged and magic attacks.

Death Ward - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +2 ARM. If an affected warjack is damaged, you get to choose which column suffers the damage. Models are not affected while out of formation.

Iron Aggression - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction warjack can run, charge, slam, or trample for free and gains boosted melee attack rolls.

Scourge - Cost 4, 8" range, 3" AOE, POW 13

Models hit by Scourge are knocked down.

Snipe - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target model/unit's ranged weapons gain +4 RNG.

Feat : Hit & Run[edit]

Magnus' battlegroup models currently in his CTRL range gain Parry and may run or make a full advance after all friendly models have activated. 'Jacks can perform this run for free. Lasts for a turn.

Thoughts on Magnus[edit]

Magnus the Traitor in a nutshell[edit]

Magnus is a battlegroup caster with a messy pop-and-drop assassination via his Renegade warjacks, either by using the Obliterator Rockets or an arced scourge for his feat. He also has the ability to upkeep some nice spells on his battlegroup while at the same time handing out a full stack of focus.

Sometimes in Warmachine/Hordes an epic incarnation is relatively similar to their past versions. Maybe they offer a slightly different play-style or a change in spell list, but they over all do somthing similar. Magnus is NOT one of these casters. The difference between the Traitor and the Warlord is night and day. If you want support and movement shenanigans, pick the Traitor. If you want pure nasty attrition and a 'jack caster that brawls, take the Warlord. Just don't expect them to do each other's jobs.

The other two non-dwarven mercenary battlegroup casters are considered simpler and ultimately more powerful; Captain Bartolo Montador who shoots with Broadsides and Batten Down the Hatches, Magnus the Warlord who combines his field marshal and Escort to make a fast and tough melee battle group.

Magnus 1 has one of the best spell lists in the game, and could be considered almost a support caster in many ways, however he pays for having so many good options by never having enough focus to do everything he wants. A part of the fluff that actually fits into his mechanics well is that he is unpredictable and more than willing to sacrifice his own troops. He can go from putting three upkeeps on his infantry, to supporting an all-out assault with his jacks', to bum-rushing the enemy caster with a full stack of focus. If you play him right you can even surprise people with a lot of experience playing as or against him. Just remember that when you make your play that the part of the army you stop supporting is going to get mulched in the process.

Feat thoughts[edit]

Many people use it early to gain board position on objectives - it also lets you prevent infantry charges.

Spell thoughts[edit]

  • Arcantrik Bolt - This spell is best used on incorporeal solos.
  • Blur - This spell is best used on Magnus as a defensive measure.
  • Death Ward - This spell is best used anywhere you have high ARM. Probably your biggest jack who is about to see melee
  • Iron Aggression - This spell is best used on a Mangler for a terrifying Thresh of doom.
  • Scourge - This spell is best used via a Renegade that ran into position to knock down a caster
  • Snipe - This spell is best used on a Galleon at the start of the game. Or occasionally on a unit of Steelhead Riflemen to finish the assassination.

Typical Army & Strategy[edit]


His main win condition is to knockdown the enemy caster then blow them to pieces, but he has plenty of jack buffs for brawling.


Things you take in his army to help her with this strategy is a pair of Renegade arc nodes with Obliterator Rockets, and a Galleon to blow the enemy sky high. Then possibly some ranged firepower to finish the job. Although the Mangler is one of 'his' jacks, now that it's aggressive and infantry are rarer it doesn't get so much out of Iron Aggression as the Nomad does. The Freebooter is both a great recipient of Iron Aggression and one of the very few jacks that Blur works well on, putting its DEF into the territory where most people have to boost.

You'll frequently be running him in The Kingmaker's Army

If you aren't running Kingmaker, than try taking Sylys Wyshnalyrr. Even just having one extra focus on Maggie is pretty good, but keep in mind that their may be times were you need him casting scourge instead of his Renegades. (Ark nodes can't be used while in Melee.) And not having to spend the extra focus for boosting might save your skin!

Sam MacHorne and her crew run great as Magnus's main infantry unit. You can keep the expensive and squishy grunts alive for the first couple turns with blur, and when things start going down put snipe on them to extend their threat range.

Drawbacks & Downsides[edit]

  • While his feat is far stronger than it seems, it is often very hard to utilize.
  • Can't brawl (unlike the Warlord) so tends to lose slugfests.
  • A lot of knockdown immunity.
  • If you want a ranged jack caster then Captain Bartolo Montador does a better job. Magnus is only really better at the assassination.
  • Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator or failing that Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - removing stealth from an enemy caster is sometimes the final link in the assassination chain
  • Once he has about four jacks in his battlegroup that's everything he's going to support; he scales badly in bigger games.

Tricks & Tips[edit]

  • The feat gives Parry to Magnus during his whole activation. So it can be used to go around an enemy ignoring free strikes, and get the Backstab bonus on your melee attacks.
  • Devil Dogs can trigger Feign Death by throwing a net on Magnus. With the right positioning, you can't miss with the net, and it causes no damage.
  • Scourge is an automatic knockdown if it's being channeled through a Renegade within 4" of its target, as a 2" deviation is less than half the width of the AoE plus half the width of the target's base.
  • Likewise (although this is a rarer use) the Obliterator rocket is an automatic knockdown if used within 5"
  • You need to be unlucky to lose either a renegade's arc node or its movement to free strikes.



Warjacks he can take[edit]

Mercenary Warjacks (Edit)
Light Buccaneer - Renegade (Magnus only) - Talon - Vanguard
Heavy Freebooter - Mangler - Mariner - Mule - Nomad - Rover
Gallant - Rocinante
Colossal Galleon

Theme Forces[edit]

Other Mercenary models[edit]



Mercenary 'Jack Controllers (Edit)
Warcasters Ashlynn - Caine3 - Captain Bart - Captain Damiano - Gastone2 - Captain Shae - Macbain - Constance - Fiona - Magnus1 - Magnus2
BGC Gastone Crosse
Marshals Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Raluk Moorclaw - Rutger Shaw - Sam & the Devil Dogs
Mercenary Warjacks (Edit)
Light Buccaneer - Renegade (Magnus only) - Talon - Vanguard
Heavy Freebooter - Mangler - Mariner - Mule - Nomad - Rover
Gallant - Rocinante
Colossal Galleon
Rhulic 'Jack Controllers (Edit)
Warcasters Durgen Madhammer - General Ossrum - Gorten Grundback
Marshals Thor Steinhammer
Rhulic Warjacks (Edit)
Light Blaster- Gunner
Heavy Avalancher - Basher - Driller - Rockram
Colossal Earthbreaker
Cephalyx Warcasters (Edit)
Warcasters Cognifex Cyphon - Exulon Thexus
Cephalyx Monstrosities (Edit)
Heavy Subduer - Warden - Wrecker
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Warcaster attachments Madelyn Corbeau - Reinholdt - Wyshnalyrr
Lesser Warlocks Rorsh & Brine (Farrow) - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw (Gatorman)
Units Cephalyx Mind Bender - Cephalyx Mind Slaver - Cephalyx Overlords - High Shields - Artillery Corps - Forge Guard - Idrian Skirmishers - Kayazy Assassins - Kayazy Eliminators - Ogrun Assault Corps - Precursor Knights - Press Gangers - Sea Dog Pirates - Deck Gun - Steelhead Halberdiers - Steelhead Heavy Cavalry - Steelhead Riflemen - Tactical Arcanist Corps - Thorn Gun Mages
Special CA: Cephalyx Dominator
Character Units Alexia1 - Sam & The Devil Dogs - Croe's Cutthroats - Nyss Hunters - Blythe & Bull - Boomhowlers - Herne & Jonne - Aiyana & Holt - Lynus & Edrea - Commodore Cannon - Devil's Shadow Mutineers
Solos Cephalyx Agitator - Gobber Tinker - Ogrun Bokur - Swamp Gobber River Raider
Character Solos Alexia2 - Alten Ashley - Anastasia Di Bray - Bloody Bradigan - Bosun Grogspar - Brun & Lug - Colbie - Dahlia & Skarath - Dirty Meg - Doc Killingsworth - Eilish Garrity - Eiryss1 - Eiryss2 - Hawk - Gastone1 - Gorman - Gudrun - Harlan Versh - Hutchuk - Kell Bailoch - Lanyssa - Rockbottom - Major Harrison Gibbs - Dougal - Orin - Ragman - Raluk - Rhupert - Rorsh & Brine - Rutger - Savio - Saxon - Sergeant Nick - Stannis - Taryn - Thor - Viktor - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Battle Engines Hammerfall Siege Crawler
Theme Forces (Edit)
Hammer Strike - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - Operating Theater - The Talion Charter - Llaelese Resistance

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification : Magical Damage      (Edit)

  • The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • ... but not by "lingering" secondary damage (such as the cloud left by Breath of Corruption). In this case the hazard is damaging the model, not the spell that put the hazard into play.
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it can still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")

Rules Clarification : Powerful Attack      (Edit)

  • You must declare whether you're using Powerful Attack before making any attack rolls. You can't try and mix-and-match it to avoid friendly models. (Infernal Ruling)
  • It has to be declared at the attack stage. If you choose not to use it on attack rolls, you can't trigger it on damage rolls. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Exception: If your attack auto-misses, such as an AOE vs Stealth, then you can declare it after deviation but before making damage rolls. (Infernal Ruling)
  • The Powerful Attack bonus doesn't apply to "secondary" damage such as Magic Bullet or Electro Leap.

Rules Clarification : Knockdown      (Edit)

  • Knockdown (Edit) - Remember, knockdown only prevents what it says it does. Refer to the Knockdown page for a recap of what a model can/can't do.

Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster      (Edit)
Warning: This is a long one.

  • General
    • FOCUS (uppercase) is the stat printed on the warcaster's card. Focus (lowercase) refers to focus points a model currently has.
    • Your CTRL area is double your FOCUS stat, not double your focus points. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Casting spells or using feats is an anytime ability with the added restriction that you can't use them on the same turn you run even before you run.
      • See also the clarifications on Any Time abilities (below).
    • Some warcasters are also Battle Engines and thus follow all the Battle Engine special rules.
      • There is no particular interaction between the Battle Engine rules and the Warcaster rules.
Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities (Edit)
  • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. The model with the Any Time ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolve anything which includes "its activation ends". Examples include:
      • Running, failing a charge, or failing a slam.
      • Abilities that include "then its activation ends" (such as Reposition and Teleport).
    2. You're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    3. You're in the middle of an attack. Note that the attack is not over until you finish step 14 of the attack sequence (Apdx A).
    4. Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities, such as Countercharge.
  • In general you can use "Any Time" abilities while you're knocked down or stationary (except Spells and Feats which specify you can't).
  • Units
    • Even if the ability says "any time during the unit's activation", a model in a unit can't use an Any Time ability if they run, fail a charge, or use an ability like Reposition.
    • Because that model's activation has ended (even if the unit's activation is still ongoing) and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
    • So, for example:
      • You cannot use a minifeat after the Officer runs. (Infernal Ruling)
      • You cannot use a minifeat after anyone in the unit has begun a Reposition move. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.

Rules Clarification : Warcaster Unit or Warlock Unit     (Edit)
This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcasters & Warlocks page for the 'regular' rules clarifications.

  • If you're giving an order, it must be done first, before casting any spells or using your feat.
  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argii can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Only the warcaster/warlock model can dominate a Steam Roller scenario. They can do that regardless of where the grunts are.
  • The grunt models can contest Steam Roller scenarios, but not control them.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).

Rules Clarification : Unit of Warcasters or Warlocks     (Edit)

  • Even though they're warcasters, if they're out of formation they suffer the normal penalties (can't make attacks, actions, spells, etc).
  • They can't upkeep each other's spells.
  • They can only dominate one SteamRoller scenario element at a time.
  • Each warlock/warcaster can have different upkeeps on them if those upkeeps are "target SELF" or "target model". If you cast an upkeep that is "target model/unit", that is the only upkeep any of them can have.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
  • The Legion Twins
    • Rhyas cannot dominate a zone while out of formation.
    • Rhyas can use the feat while out of formation.
  • Haley3
    • Only Haley Prime is an 'actual' warcaster model, and as such she is the only one that can dominate a scenario element.
    • The echoes can Control/Contest scenarios like a normal unit.
    • Haley Prime can dominate an element even if the echoes are out of formation.

Rules Clarification : Backstab      (Edit)

  • Backstab always applies on a free strike, because free strikes are always in the back arc. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Backstab applies to magic and ranged attacks, too.
  • For a caster with Backstab that uses an arc node to attack their target: Backstab doesn't care about the point of origin of the attack, and does not interact with Arc Nodes at all.
In other words, if your arc node is in the target's back arc & but the caster is not, then Backstab doesn't apply. And vice versa, if your arc node is in the front arc & you're in the back arc, then Backstab will apply.
  • Models with Circular Vision aren't immune to Backstab. They still have a back arc, and backstabbers can stand in it.
  • Steamroller objectives have facings, and can be backstabbed. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Before the game starts you should discuss with your opponent the facing of the objective.
    • In Steamroller 2017, objectives face towards the opposing deployment zone.

Rules Clarification : Feign Death      (Edit)

  • "Cannot be targeted" is not the same as "cannot be hit". You can still be hit by AOEs, Sprays, etc that target someone else.
  • You cannot use Gunfighter vs models Feigning Death, because Gunfighter is still a ranged attack.
  • However, you can use Point Blank, because that lets the attacker make a melee attack with a ranged weapon.

Rules Clarification : Repair      (Edit)

  • When repairing warjacks, you can choose which damage boxes to heal - they don't all have to be the same column.

Rules Clarification : Resourceful      (Edit)

  • "Models in the battlegroup" includes the caster.

Rules Clarification : Parry - None yet. (Edit)

Rules Clarification : Arcantrik Bolt      (Edit)

  • Remember, stationary only prevents what it says it does. Refer the recap on stationary for what models can/can't do.

Rules Clarification : Blur - None yet. (Edit)

Rules Clarification : Death Ward      (Edit)

  • If Death Ward is on a Colossal, you still pick which column gets damaged - but not which grid. That's still determined via which field of fire the attacker is in.
  • Marksman vs Death Ward (and similar) (Edit)
    • When both the attacker and defender have an ability that lets them choose the column that gets damaged, the attacker gets to choose.
    • The reason is, the attacker is the Active Player so his ability resolves first. And part of resolving Marskman is actually marking the damage. So by the time the Inactive Player gets to resolve Death Ward, it's moot.

Rules Clarification : Iron Aggression      (Edit)

  • If you're intending to use this spell lots, it's probably worth you checking on the slam and trample rules clarifications. We didn't want to repeat it here because together they become quite a long list.

Rules Clarification : Scourge - None yet. (Edit)

Rules Clarification : Snipe      (Edit)

  • Although Snipe the spell and Snipe the Attack Type are two different "sources", they are multiple instances of the same effect. As such, they're not cumulative. Refer to the "Rule Priority" section of the core rulebook.
  • Snipe does not affect the range of weapons that use the Spray template, or one's which have RNG = CTRL.